Month: June 2014

Michigan, Nature, Photography

Junk Island

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Taking a pontoon boat ride around the lake my brother pointed to a little island. The neighbors are making an attempt to increase the size/save this little island by putting scrap wood, concrete and whatever else on it. The tree laying in the water to the left used to stand tall with a rope attached so people could swing off into the water. Unfortunately despite their efforts the island is still getting smaller. They call it Junk Island.

Junk Island
Junk Island



Keep Digging Son

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My son asked me how far down I thought he would get. As the water continued to flow in and the sand filled the hole quickly I wanted to tell him to dig further away from the shore but I remember doing this as a kid. I learned eventually to move away from the water a little when I built my castles or try to dig a hole to the other side of the world.

Sand and Shadow
Sand and Shadow
Family, Photography

Slow Down

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Sometimes in the hustle of the day-to-day I need a reminder to slow down a little. I think I’m pretty good at hitting the brakes sometimes. As a father I know the importance of making time for my kids and being self-employed provides me the opportunity to stop when I want to. At the same time being self-employed means I feel like I need to always work because I don’t get any paid days off.

My own father, who worked a lot when I was growing up, told me a while back to make sure I don’t work too much. There are things infinitely more important than making money and building your business. The money you make and spend won’t mean much in the end. It’s the memories you make with people you care about that have the most value in life.

This morning on a job site I saw this snail on a window ledge. He wasn’t concerned about me taking a picture and didn’t even move when I touched his shell.

Divorce, Family, Life, Parenting

Is It Too Late To Capture This?

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These past few weeks have been stressful leaving me feeling particularly anxious and I have a hard time sleeping lately.  The truth is I have a lot on my plate right now with the divorce, trying to work things out here as a 50/50 parent, work stress  and kids who are being more than a handful.

I knew this would impact them, how could it not? Divorce is harsh even when the divorce terms are not and the communication is polite and reasonable. When kids see their family broken apart they don’t have a say or a choice other than to go along with it and just deal with it in some way. I think the impact on kids is the most unfortunate thing about a divorce. They act out in anger, hurt and resentment and I understand that but there’s a line.

This is most evident in my teenage daughter who over the course of the past year and a half to two years (even before divorce was considered) has progressively gotten meaner and more disrespectful, this is most evident in her interactions with her mother. The lying, stealing things from the other kids and her mom, sneaking around online as if I don’t know etc. But it’s the lack of remorse that gets me the most. When caught she simply does not care or apologize at all. I’ve tried to be understanding, to look for answers and hope that she will at least make an effort but it never ends. At times I feel completely lost in what to do.

Yesterday was another episode of lying by sneaking on social media using a basic flip phone. I really thought we removed any chance for that but as usual she found a way. So what now? I’ve taken things away, made her do chores etc. you name it but nothing seems to work. Her mother told me when she’s there it’s worse. The level of disrespect with her mother has gotten to the point of outright refusing to do something and saying, “no” and “so what if I don’t?” I can’t really understand that BUT again I look for the answer and hope there is one. “She’s a teenager and this is what teenagers do” I tell myself but this goes beyond typical teenage years rebellion. Is it a cry for help I have to wonder?

When I think back to my childhood and the anger I felt, I know that anger was rooted in feeling lost and without stability in my home. The environment didn’t feel safe to me and it wasn’t. I felt like I needed to build up a wall of anger for protection and as a result I acted out in a very similar way my kid is acting out now. So then I try to imagine how she must feel. A father who can be overbearing, angry, stressed often and perhaps worse of all poor at saying or expressing love and approval. For me I always felt like I needed to direct my kids to what’s right and allow their mother to express love.  She must feel like I’m always on the verge of yelling at her or looking for ways to scold her, she doesn’t make that hard that’s for sure but what’s missing?

The responsibility is in part mine. The larger effort needed is really on my part. The chance to capture something I felt was lost on me as a kid. She’s never had to face the things I did as a kid and she never will but the lack of connection with her own father is a travesty I think. I’ve tried to provide everything reasonable for my kids but it’s not the house, vacations or any of those material things it’s the love that matters most. I need to be better at expressing that last part. I’m not naive and of course I know she will continue to be a teenager who gets on my nerves and tests me on occasion but I also know as a parent I have to step up and try my best to let her know that while I won’t be walked over, I do in fact love her.


Divorce, Family, Michigan, Nature, Photography


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Lake Michigan
Stearns Park Beach – Ludington Michigan

When the sun goes down and I lay down to sleep It’s then that my mind won’t let me rest. The thoughts I fight to ignore during the day are unbridled. I dream about my marriage but never the divorce. Still in my dreams I know things are slipping away and I wonder why. I wake up and realize it’s over. For the better I tell myself but not the best.

Family, Michigan, Nature, Photography


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This weekend was awesome. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the 80’s and plenty of sunshine. I’ve always enjoyed a hot sunny day when you spend the whole day outside until the sun goes down. Yesterday we sipped cream soda and watched the sunset. I felt content to be with my kids knowing I still had all Sunday to spend with them. There’s joy and sadness in that because I knew Sunday would come and go and I would miss them again. I miss them.